Today, I’m sharing a Face Yoga routine that is perfect for anyone over 40. That doesn’t mean you can’t do It if you are in your 20s, 30s, 50s. 60s, 70s or beyond – you’ll still get plenty of benefits. But I’ve specifically developed this particular sequence with people who are over 40 in mind.
There are a couple of reasons that I wanted to focus on this age group. For one, I am turning 40 myself in a few months, so it is a phase of life I very much relate to.
Secondly, I’ve worked with women (and men) in the 40–50-year age bracket all over the world in the past 16 years as the Face Yoga expert. Over that time, I’ve amassed a lot of knowledge and understanding of the skin needs and concerns of this age group, so I want to share that with all of you.
Before we get started, a reminder to work to your own level with all Face Yoga. You can always take a break or use a lighter pressure if you need.
You’ll also need clean hands and a clean face before starting the sequence. I recommend applying a facial serum too – this helps your fingers glide easily over your skin.
The one I use is my own Fusion by Danielle Collins serum, which was developed specifically for Face Yoga. It is deeply moisturising and absorbs easily into your skin, so when you are done with the routine you can head to bed or apply makeup, depending on what time of day it is – no need to wash your face again.
Start with the Breath
Find a comfortable place to sit. When you are ready, close your eyes and bring your focus to the breath. Inhale and exhale through your nose, feeling your abdomen rise and fall as you fill and empty your lungs.
As you exhale, let go of any tension or stress you are holding. Feel your body relax.
As you continue to focus on your breath, I’d like you to take a moment to have gratitude for the age you are at now. It is so easy to look back at photos or memories and compare our present selves to who we were back then.
But it is a privilege to grow older. Feel into that sense of gratitude for being the age you are. In your mind, complete the sentence “thank you for…”, describing why it is fantastic to have reached your 40s (or beyond). For example, you might say “my wonderful life” or “the wisdom I have now”.
As we move through the practice, keep that deep, rejuvenating breath and that sense of gratitude. Today is all about delving into feeling the best we can for the age we are right now.
1. Forehead Flick
Open your eyes but don’t forget to keep your long, calm breath going. Take one thumb to the spot between your eyebrows. Then flick your thumb upwards from this spot repeatedly, continuing for about a minute.
As we get into our 40s, we tend to notice more of those vertical expression lines appearing between our eyebrows. Over the years, we’ve encountered plenty of stress and it shows on our faces. Eventually, these lines become etched into the skin. We also lose some of the collagen that acts as a plumping agent for our skin.
If we can relax this area, we can prevent lines from becoming deeper. We can also soften those that are already there. This move is fantastic because it helps to relax the procerus muscle between our eyebrows.
2. Forehead Massage
Still working with smoothing and relaxing the forehead, form your hands into fists and take them to the centre of your forehead.
Smooth your fists over your forehead, moving from the centre outwards. Continue for around a minute.
This exercise is brilliant for releasing tension and softening expression lines. It also helps to boost blood circulation and get the energy flowing freely.
In yoga, we call this energy prana, while it is known as Qi in traditional Chinese medicine. Both traditions believe that sluggish or blocked energy leads to health issues. In our faces, it can leave our skin looking dull and tired. So, we want the energy and blood both flowing freely.
Take your thumbs to the acupressure points at the outer corners of your eyes, where you can feel the bone beneath the skin.
Very gently, sweep your thumbs diagonally up towards your temples. Use very light pressure here. Repeat the move several times and then come down a little to use the same movement over your cheekbones.
Our aim here is to boost the circulation and release any tension we are holding onto. It is a lovely, soothing action.
Bring your arms down and give them a good shake out to get that energy flowing.
4. Eye Area
As we get older, we tend to find that we get more puffiness under the eyes when we wake up in the morning. Our lymphatic drainage slows down a little, so this gentle massage for the eye area is great to give it a helping hand.
I love this exercise and you may know it from previous face yoga routines.
Take your ring finger and lightly go in circles around your eye. The skin here is extremely delicate, so use a featherlight touch – you don’t want to drag at the skin.
As you do this exercise, have a real sense of nurturing and love towards yourself. As women especially we spend a lot of time taking care of others –children, our partners, extended family, friends and colleagues, elderly parents, others in our community, etc. We give a lot to others, but we sometimes forget to show that same care to ourselves.
Taking small moments like this helps to remind us of the power of our own touch and the importance of self-care.
If there is one thing you take away from this post, it should be that self-care is not selfish. When you take time to nurture your own wellness, you feel healthier and become a better version of yourself. This means you are better able to support and care for others too.
5. Neck and Chin
You may have noticed that the neck area seems to age faster than the face. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- We don’t protect the area enough. We might forget to apply skincare products and SPF to the neck, even though we remember it for the rest of the face.
- This area carries a lot of stress. We spend a lot of time hunching at desks, looking at screens, driving, looking down at children, etc. All of this leads to tension in our necks.
This exercise and the one after focus on tightening and toning the neck and chin area.
Sitting up straight, bring your chin parallel to the floor. Form your hands into fists and bring them up under your chin, pressing gently upwards. Resist the pressure from your fists, keeping your chin parallel to the ground.
Move the tip of your tongue up to the roof of your mouth and back down again at a rate of one per second. Continue for 30 seconds.
Release and then repeat the exercise. You should feel it working the muscles under the chin.
Form your index fingers and thumbs on both hands into a ‘V’ shape. Alternating hands, smooth along your jawline, moving out from the chin.
Continue for at least 30 seconds, or longer if you prefer.
7. Behind Ear
Take your index fingers behind your ear lobe to the spot where your ear meets your jaw. Press for a moment and think to yourself “am I holding a lot of tension here?”
If the answer is yes, it suggests you have a tense jaw. This often occurs when we have a lot on our plates and are trying to keep everything under control. The jaw area holds a lot of emotional stress.
I know that this is where I often hold tightness and stress from running my business while also raising two young children.
Massaging this spot can help to release that tension. Move your fingers in a circular motion, first one way and then the other.
8. Lower Cheeks
Forming a ‘V’ shape with your index fingers and thumbs, smooth them outwards over your lips and lower cheeks. As you lift off from your lips, squeeze your fingers together a little.
This helps to soften the nasal labial folds, another area where we often see lines deepening as we get older.
Don’t forget to use your breath too.
9. Puff Cheeks
Taking a deep breath, puff out both your cheeks and hold them there. Continue to breathe through your nose.
Use the fingers of one hand on your upper lip to smooth out any lines that appear when you do this move. With your other hand, tap all over one cheek for around 30 seconds.
Then switch hands and repeat this on the other side.
To finish, take all your fingers and tap quickly and lightly over your neck. Move up to your chin, using the tops of your fingers to tap upwards. Then continue tapping over your cheeks.
Rest three fingers of each hand under your eyes and gently pulse them, without lifting off, for up to a minute.
Resume tapping over the forehead and temples.
Keep using your breath all the time as you tap over your skin. This boosts the circulation and helps skincare products to penetrate deeper into your skin.
Close your eyes again and bring your focus back to your breath. As you breathe, say these affirmations to yourself, repeating each one three times:
“I look and feel amazing”
“I am glowing inside and out”
“I am healthy, happy, and strong”
“I love who I am today”
Don’t worry if feelings of self-doubt come up as you say these – it is very normal. With practice, you’ll begin to believe the truth of these statements.
If you prefer to follow along with a video, I have this sequence available on my YouTube channel, where I share loads of useful tips and short face yoga routines. Make sure to subscribe while you are there!
And some of these moves are from my new book, the Face Yoga Journal, which is available to pre-order here. It is a very interactive guide that takes you through 52 weeks’ worth of face yoga exercises and wellness hacks. There’s plenty of space for journaling too, so you can record your journey as you go.